When Noah first started on solids half a year ago, we had a really tough time getting him to eat. He didn’t like cereal, and for the longest time, the only things he would eat were grapes and puffs. I didn’t know how to cook porridge with the right consistency for babies, and ended up blending it initially. I tried using a slow cooker, and the microwave oven, but the texture just wasn’t quite right. After several failed attempts, my mum reminded me that she bought me a ‘magic pot’ last year, and cooking Noah’s porridge has become so much easier after I started using it.
I’m no Nigella Lawson, but just in case some of you are as clueless about cooking for a baby as I was, here’s a simple porridge meal that I prepared for Noah. I usually cook a larger portion, take out whatever I need for that day, and freeze the remainder.
Add as much or as little of each ingredient as you want.
– Rice (I use the Fair Price Koto Kome Australian Calrose Rice. The medium-grain rice is supposedly good for cooking porridge.)
Australian Calrose Rice
Ingredients for yummy porridge
1. Wash the rice, then add water. (I use my finger as a gauge for the amount of water needed. Usually, when I put my finger in, on top of the rice, the water level comes up to my second joint.) Leave it to soak while you prepare the other ingredients.
2. Slice the pork into a few thick chunks.
3. Cut the salmon into small cubes. Make sure that you have removed all the bones. You can choose to put the skin in, but I usually don’t add it, as it breaks up into small pieces when cooked, and can be difficult to remove.
4. Chop the broccoli and pumpkin into small pieces.
5. Wash the pork, salmon, broccoli, and pumpkin thoroughly, then add them to the rice.
Ready to be cooked
6. Boil at high temperature, and stir occasionally, to prevent the food from sticking to the base of the pot.
7. Lower the temperature when the porridge is bubbling furiously.
Bubble, bubble, bubble!
8. When the water has more or less dried up, you can choose to add more hot water, if the porridge isn’t mushy enough.
9. Stir until you get your desired texture, and remove from heat.
10. *Optional step* Pop the pot into the thermal cooker, and leave it to cook further for a while more.
My ‘magic pot’, the Thermos Shuttle Chef
11. Remove the thick pork slices, and make sure that all the other ingredients are well mashed.
Experienced mummies, please don’t laugh at me for posting this! It’s for the inexperienced mummies like me who might need a little help with cooking for babies.
Other ingredients you can try:
– Boneless chicken breast (I usually remove the chicken meat after the porridge is cooked too, as Noah isn’t very good at chewing it yet.)
– Cod fish
– Threadfin fillet (‘ngor hee’)
– Sweet potato
I also mix in some chia seeds and cooked quinoa to ensure that the porridge is extra nutritious, especially since Noah is such a fussy eater. I buy the chia seeds and raw quinoa from iHerb, as it’s much cheaper than what I can find in the supermarkets. I have a list of my favourite products from iHerb, which you can read here. If you’re a first-time shopper on iHerb, use discount code DRM056 to receive $10 off (for purchases above $40) or $5 off (for purchases less than $40).
UPDATE: I’ve just posted a new recipe for carbo-loaded porridge. You can check it out HERE.
Noah enjoying his porridge
Here are five tips on preparing your baby’s porridge:
The first three tips are from our PD, and the last two are time-saving tips for busy mummies.
1. Do make sure your baby has tried each ingredient on its own, usually in purée form, for at least three consecutive days, before mixing it into the porridge.
2. For extra iron, you can prepare a separate batch of pork purée and add a little into the porridge for each meal.
3. Make sure you include at least one green vegetable, and try not to always add a ‘sweet’ item such as pumpkin, sweet potato, or carrot, so that your baby doesn’t get used to having a sweet meal.
4. Get the butcher to slice your pork for you, so that you don’t have to do it yourself.
5. Ask for the fish bones and skin to be removed.
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